Posted by: Dominic Umile | 04/15/2009

Close Listen: Bibio, ‘Ovals & Emeralds’

Ovals & EmeraldsI posted about Bibio in this space a few months back, but the short Ovals & Emeralds makes for such an interesting companion piece to his recent LP that I’m discussing him again.

Mush released Bibio’s third record, Vignetting the Compost, in February, and he’s just followed up with a vinyl-or-digital EP called Ovals & Emeralds.

Stephen “Bibio” Wilkinson’s delicate experiments are analog-driven — he confesses a fetish here that he has for magnetic tape, and like his full-lengths, the instrumentals on Ovals are fitted with blurry, weathered sonics and little else. In the PM interview, he references Boards of Canada’s Music Has the Right to Children, the duo’s 1998 debut LP, which, in its visionary marriage of sampling, tape machine theatrics, and honey-coated analog keyboard melodies, seems to have offered a nice blueprint for Bibio’s work.

One of the finest pieces that Wilkinson has ever developed is on Ovals — “Six String Marenghi” is less than two minutes of grassy hillside guitar picking and field noises which are eventually met with warm, spacious chords that flicker and fade before too long, mimicking the tail-end of your favorite symphony. If something could sound like dewy mornings, it would be “Six String Marenghi” and the rest of the lo-fi wonders filtering out of Bibio’s workspace.

  • Listen to Bibio’s “Six String Marenghi” here.
  • Listen to the whole Ovals & Emeralds EP here.
  • Check out this handful of Bibio videos (and other nifty posts) at ISO50 blog.
  • UPDATE: Fact Magazine reports that Warp will issue Bibio’s fourth LP this year.

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